Kalahari.com launch WiFi eReader

In a drive to make electronic content such as eBooks more accessible to all South Africans, kalahari.com has released its WiFi gobii 7” eReader

October 19, 2011

Kalahari.com announces another first ; the launch of its new gobii 7” eReader with WiFi and a host of other features that make it the perfect eReader for those on the go. The new WiFi model follows the initial launch of the gobii 7” colour LCD eReader which, at a price of R899 with additional R160 in vouchers, sold out within 21 days of launch in August this year.

gobii is a sleek new range of affordable electronic products available exclusively on kalahari.com.  The new WiFi model will retail at R1,299. Both devices are available on pre-order and will be available for purchase from early November, making them the perfect stocking filler this festive season.

Comments Gary Novitzkas, CEO of kalahari.com, “2011 has been the year of the tablet and eReader as these hotly demanded electronic devices fly off kalahari.com’s shelves. eReaders are starting to enter the mainstream as customers look for the ideal device on which to consume their content. As the largest supplier of digital content in South Africa, we believe that this range of eReaders is ideal to meet the specific needs of the local market.”

Novitzkas moves on to say that the motivation for the WiFi enabled gobii 7” eReader came about after a snap analysis of the buying patterns of the more than one million registered kalahari.com shoppers.

“Some interesting statistics came to the fore:  we saw that our female shoppers clearly preferred eReaders while our male counterparts favoured the Tablet. The launch of gobii provided the perfect opportunity to cater to that need; whilst the WiFi enabled version of the gobii 7” eReader will be valued by the more itinerant consumer looking for increased access to eContent.”

Novitzkas confirms that kalahari.com has seen a 100% year on year growth in the sale of eBooks for the last six months. This growth can be attributed to increased consumer familiarity with the format of eBooks, greater product availability, and of course, the proliferation of affordable devices which have been spearheaded by the online retailer.

“We saw massive uptake in eBooks with the release of our eReaders for under R900. Moving into hardware manufacturing was a bold step to take for kalahari.com, but it has ultimately benefited the consumer by driving down prices and pushing up the demand for eBooks locally. kalahari.com is working hard to make eContent and eBooks more accessible to all South Africans and to that end the Gobii range of eReaders continues to drive adoption locally. We believe that ultimately local demand will emulate the growth we have seen in the US where the sale of digital reading devices jumped fourfold from three million in 2009, to 12.6 million in 2010,” confirms the CEO.

A major worldwide trend is that consumers are not as interested in owning content as much as they are interested in having access to it. The Internet makes this possible.

“What this means is that the way we interact with literature is changing as we begin to include this new technology into our lives. kalahari.com alone has more than 350,000 international and local eBooks leaving consumers spoilt for choice.The WiFi enabled gobii makes that entire library available with the flip of the on-switch,wherever the customer is online,”continues Novitzkas.

He explains that the gobii 7″ Colour LCD eReader with WiFi allows you to carry approximately  5,000 eBooks, several eMagazines, a few digital photo albums, a host of digital movie clips and music, with the option to download more.

“Digital content allows for more connected experiences. In the future, opportunities exist for publishers to provide more than just their print content by enriching the reader’s experience through rich media with links to the Internet, embedded video, sound clips and other interactive features such as applications. kalahari.com is proud to be at the forefront of this change in South Africa with the release of its affordable gobii range of eReaders.”

The gobii range of eReaders, and other electronics, are available exclusively through kalahari.com.

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